Public Relations Account Director
Highwire Public Relations
 Chicago, IL
Highwire Public Relations is a leading technology public relations agency based in San Francisco with offices in New York City, Boston and Chicago. We work with a wide range of clients across cloud technology, enterprise, security, financial services technology (fin-tech), and healthcare as well as consumer products and services.

Highwire has been named Technology Agency of the Year  and Best Agency to work for by The Holmes Report and PRWeek.  We are a learning culture that welcomes diverse perspectives to develop our teams, coach for career growth and embrace new ideas.  

We search for those with big ideas, strong opinions and the energy to bring them to life. Collaboration, curiosity and passion underpin everything we do.  Our core values encourage an environment that fosters innovation and inclusion. We strive to celebrate individuality and be a place where every employee is empowered to be heard and ask for what they want.

The Account Director position is a unique opportunity to become a leader for an innovative PR agency. As a member of our management team, this individual has to be a visionary creative type with 7+ years of experience growing teams and delighting clients. The Account Director will lead 4 to 5 teams doing overseeing the development of high-level strategy with clients to ensuring team is successful with media strategies. You will also be involved in new business development and operational leadership.  As a member of senior management, this individual will serve as a mentor, manager and lead example for all account teams on client management, quality assurance, staff development and strategic guidance. If you have been waiting to discover a role that allows you to be a catalyst in a thriving, meaningful workplace, then Highwire might be just the place for you.

Essential Functions

  • Media/Influencer Relations Strong relationships particularly with business, broadcast and influencer media and ability to direct staff to develop the same. Strong grasp and creative use of social media channels to engage and support efforts. Ongoing engagement of media for the agency (e.g. blog Q&A, lunch talks, etc.) Experience measuring the ROI of communications activities. Experience with social media influencer engagement, content campaigns, and media coverage amplification.

  • Client Service/Management Deliver exemplary client service for specified clients. This will include: Developing and maintaining a strong working relationship with the client who listens and values your advice. Developing a strong working knowledge of your clients’ business, their competitors and relevant industry bodies. Identifying key messages and audiences and developing strategic communications plans. Delivering projects and campaigns on time and on budget. Understanding the financials of each account, the allocated hours per month vs. actual fee and managing the accounts according to the resulting servicing levels. Proactively communicating regularly with clients on status of deliverables and budget. Identify relevant opportunities to secure organic growth and hit your revenue targets. Develop and maintain strong relationships with appropriate members of the media. Keep abreast of market trends, new technologies and client needs. Own account management to ensure monthly client billing is accurate, client expenses are recouped, and accounts are current. In addition to leading strategic planning efforts, fully partake in the execution of the programs we develop, as determined appropriate by account, including but not limited to writing/editing, media relations, social media, digital communications and crisis work. Be an ambassador for the agency.

  • Writing Proficiencies Ability to generate a plan for a campaign or an entire PR program. Ability to generate and edit award submissions, press releases, fact sheets, backgrounders, biographies, tour reports, briefing books, contributed articles, speaking opportunity abstracts, pitches, Q&As, company memoranda and general team correspondence; also responsible for their production and assembly. Professional, articulate and timely client communication. Development of consistent, creative, successful pitches.

  • Agency Operations Maintain 3-4 direct reports, assist in development of goals for reports, deliver annual reviews and quarterly check ins. Contribute toward company growth by participating in new business development and generating excellent client case studies. Drive initiatives to identify new business opportunities. Identify, attend and encourage others to attend networking events. Maintain a respectful, enthusiastic, and professional attitude towards coworkers, clients, and outside colleagues and lead team by example. Support teams and manage up and down. Responsible use of flexible work policies. Uses Highwire social channels; writes for Highwire blog. Mentor junior staff to elevate development.

  • Self Development Proactively set up quarterly goals with principal; track against goals and demonstrate growth Effectively prioritize responsibilities based on impact, timelines, workflow and client goals. Drive projects forward independently, eliminating the need for managers to consistent check in re: follow through/ task completion. Identify areas for self-improvement and bring suggestions and solutions to management. Consistently hit deadlines or give enough notice if you won’t. Attends regular networking events.

Account Director Job Requirements Include:

  • At least 7 years PR agency experience
  • Record of high academic achievement with good degree and A level results, particularly English and/or Business
  • Core consumer brand PR background with some knowledge of corporate PR and crisis management
  • Experience of running a reactive and proactive press office and handling incoming press enquiries
  • Experience measuring the ROI of communications activities
  • Experience with social media influencer engagement, content campaigns, and media coverage amplification
  • Excellent publicity skills – a strong understanding of the media, editorial requirements and what ‘makes’ a story
  • Ability to demonstrate creativity and innovative thinking
  • A wide network of national consumer and business as well as regional contacts across a broad spectrum of media
  • Experience in delivering impactful PR campaigns from inception through to delivery with a strong cuttings folder to prove it!
  • Ability to build relationships internally and externally, interfacing at all levels
  • Superior people and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Team player who works well under pressure
  • Thrives in an environment of flexibility and change

HIghwire Perks Include:

  • Competitive salary
  • Merit-based bonuses and promotions
  • Excellent vacation policy including office closure between Christmas and New Years
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Fitness Benefit
  • Donation Match
  • Cell phone reimbursement
  • Curiosity Benefit
  • 401K Match
  • Full medical and dental benefits
  • Monthly recognition programs
  • Work from Home Friday's
  • Quarterly Highwire fun event – Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday
  • Extremely supportive, nurturing environment with many opportunities for professional development and growth
  • Dog friendly work environment
The duties delineated above will vary depending on the needs of each specific account, and in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by his or her supervisors.
If you are the breakout candidate we seek, please apply now by uploading your resume.